The batting order of Rajasthan Royals has been a bit of a puzzle in IPL 2020. Winner of the first ever edition, the Royals have done too many chopping and changing, especially at the top but it hasn’t helped the team much as they continue to languish at the seventh position in points-table.
Former India opener Aakash Chopra has criticised RR’s batting order, calling it a ‘disorder’, saying it makes no sense to make Ben Stokes open the innings and keep an explosive batsman like Jos Buttler at No. 4. With the presence of Buttler, Stokes and captain Steve Smith in their ranks, RR are struggling to strike the perfect balance in the batting order and that is what, Chopra reckons, is the reason behind their current standing in the table.
“Rajasthan Royals have an issue that their batting order is actually a disorder. Their batting order is beyond my understanding at this point of time because Jos Buttler, who is their best player is being sent at No.4 while they are opening with Ben Stokes, whose bat is not firing,” Chopra said on his YouTube channel.
“The extent to which Ben Stokes’ bat has not been firing can be understood by the fact that he has played more than 100 deliveries and he is yet to hit a six. They have signed Ben Stokes and not Aakash Chopra that he is scoring with just the fours and singles.”
Stokes has scored 110 runs in five matches opening the innings, but his strike-rate is a major cause of concern for the Royals. The fact that Stokes is being used as an opener is hurting the team balance effecting batsmen like Sanju Samson, Buttler and Smith himself.
“Rajasthan Royals had expectations from Ben Stokes but he is not able to deliver there but the entire innings is becoming slow. Because of that Sanju Samson plays a bad shot to get out as the pressure is mounting,” Chopra added.
“By the time Steve Smith comes to bat, the match is almost going out of their hands and in such a situation if Jos Buttler gets out, already you have reduced his effectiveness by giving him less overs to bat, then your whole boat sinks.”